Dune

Dune is a page turner. It has suspense, deceit, treason, action, monsters, spaceships, mercenaries and more. The book is in 3 parts where the lead character Paul matures, establishes himself and leads.

The author does not go into detail on the science-fiction elements and technologies. The story has its share of personal shields, ornithopters and fast spaceships. This is unlike Isaac Asimov's Foundation series novels that explains nucleics and gravitics . This novel, while having science-fiction elements, is more geared towards fantasy. This is more like the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, 1988.

There is an amazing cast of people. The setup reminded me of the movie Lawrence of Arabia and the Bedouin. I believe the Bedouin nomadic Arab people were the inspiration for the Fremen people. The author mentions Ichwan Bedwinn in the book. The Fremen live in communities called steitch. These are underground and away from the hot desert sun. The Fremen are perfectionists in technology. They harvest the minutest amount of water. Their stillsuits keeps the body's moisture loss to a mere thimble a day. The Fremen fighters call themselves Fedaykin which is likely a play on the word fedayeen.

There is the Guild people who are all mathematicians. They use advanced technology and have a monopoly on space travel. They reminded me of the foundationers in the book Foundation by Isaac Asimov, 1953. The guild use their monopoly to charge a lot and use hazard rates to jack up rates for military expeditions.

The Bene Gesserit are the soothsayers. They have yogic powers and mention prana and bindu. They are a political group of women. The author reveals their many mystic powers as the story unfolds.

There are mentats that are as close to a human computer the a person can get. The legendary Saudakars are the Emperor feared soldiers.

Then there is the family feud between the good Atreides and the evil Harkonnens. It has its twists and turns. The author keeps the suspense alive and does not lead us to believe that good will win, which it does not always. Paul uses guerrilla tactics against the enemy. There is an amazing climax battle.

Among all these are monster sandworms with saber teeth that resemble gigantic earthworms. Then there is the spice called melange that it the most valuable substance. Its found only on this planet Arrakis.

The author weaves a fantastic tale surrounding the cast of people. There is Gurney the fighter, Stilgar the Freman and Kynes the planetologist. His family includes Jessica the mother, Leto the father, Alia the sister and many others. The author liberally sprinkles Arabic sounding words that keeps the narrative exotic.